By the time she was a teenager, Brandy was an established superstar with her own popular coming-of-age show and was the first Black woman to play Cinderella on screen. In the beginning, fame was “pure joy” for her. But as she matured, Brandy said she began to feel trapped by her “perfect” public image.
In a new interview with PEOPLE published on Wednesday (August 19), Brandy opened up about falling into a state of depression that led to her harboring suicidal thoughts. In 2006, the R&B singer was involved in a car accident that claimed the life of a 38-year-old woman.
“I remember laying in bed super depressed,” she recollected. “I [told] myself, ‘So, you're just going to go out like this? That's wack. You have a daughter. If you can't do it for yourself, do it for her because this is not the way to leave a mark in her life.”
Brandy, who settled out of court with the woman's family, declined to speak about the accident. But this, coupled with the fallout of some personal relationships, led to Brandy finding herself in a dark place, mentally. She credited the birth of her daughter, Sy’rai, in 2002 for being the turning point that saved her life, telling the publication, “If Sy'rai wasn’t here, I wouldn't be either. The place that I was in, it just felt like I wasn't going to make it through.”
With the release of her album B7 — her first release in over eight years — Brandy finally feels like her life is back on track, telling PEOPLE, “I was a little bit lost eight years ago musically, creatively, spiritually. I had to pull myself together, I had to pull it all together and make it all make sense.”
Though, she admitted that she was initially hesitant to be so candid on the record.
“I was thinking, 'Did I go too deep? Did I go too far in what I was singing about?' But I didn't dwell on those thoughts,” she said. “I'm in a place now where I can be proud of moving in the right direction.”
(Photo: Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for BET)